Along the Natchez Trace

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Skulls/Sculls and School

Okay Folks...  I'll get it right eventually.  Carolyn got the answer partly correct...  the boat is a scull....  (and what's funny is that I knew the answer but just couldn't think of it and used the wrong term....)  

Here's the Webster definition:
scull  (skl)
1. A long oar used at the stern of a boat and moved from side to side to propel the boat forward.
2. One of a pair of short-handled oars used by a single rower.
3. A small light racing boat for one, two, or four rowers, each using a pair of sculls.
v. sculledscull·ingsculls
To propel (a boat) with a scull or a pair of sculls.
To use a scull or a pair of sculls to propel a boat.

And...  just so you can see what how a single-person craft looks...
We see these on the river every day.  Looks kind of like a cross between a very skinny kayak and a canoe to me.
Those folks must have terrific upper body strength!

Enough of that...Yesterday it rained.
It rained all day....
Bill & I were soaked by the time we got to school.  We have rain gear but our shoes, socks and pants were wet clear through.
This is as we were crossing the bridge on our way to school.
We didn't even take our afternoon walk until 5pm last evening when the rain had slacked off.  

Today was sunshine!
Very Nice!

We have different instructors each week.
This week we have Lourdes as our morning teacher.
So far we've had Miguel, Enma, and now Lourdes.

We've had the same afternoon instructor all along.
Rocio is a hoot!
The first day was kind of worrisome...  she was a bit up tight and kind of right to the point.

Boy!  Have we got her on the right path now!
I can't remember exactly what happened...  might have been when Bill said he came to class on a cabello (horse)...  or maybe after I needed an aspirin after a particularly hard lesson (hey.. it was really for a pain in my shoulder...  not class related)...  
But she is great...  has a terrific sense of humor and doesn't always go strictly by the book.

This morning when she arrived, she dropped a tin on the floor...  it popped open and these little white things flew all over the floor.

Of course we were all curious...
Turns out she rolls her own cigarettes and those are the filters.  She proceeded to show us how she rolls her own... the paper, the tobacco...  and the filter.
Great lesson in words...  and how much things cost (cigarettes are as expensive here as in the States) and different habits of different countries.
We 4 students are from Japan, Holland and USA.

One thing let to another and we asked about parking on the streets.  As I've mentioned, parking spaces here are at a premium.  Hard to find and very tiny spaces.

She told us about the "Zona Azul"  (blue zone) which are parking spaces you pay for.  No meters necessary as you purchase a ticket...
There are these little stands to purchase parking permits all over town...
You put that ticket on your dashboard.  These tickets are on the dash of a car parked in the "blue zone".  Looks like that driver has parked in this spot a while.  You can see how many minutes he's allowed to stay in that spot until buying another ticket....  and how many euros he paid.

It's just like in the States...  cheaper to buy the ticket (or in the States, feed the meter) than to have to pay a fine.

Yeah, we eventually got down to nouns and verbs and stuff.  And we got serious about our workbooks...

But she makes class so interesting by allowing us to "get off track" for a while each day.  Those conversations we get into actually make a lot more sense to me than the book learning. 

Not only are we learning the Spanish language, but we're learning about the culture... in Spain and in the countries of our fellow students.

I'm loving it!

That's All For Today!


  1. There is a vendor at the flea market we go to that has a cigarette making machine. It installs filters also. Slick machine, for sure. I quit smoking 25 years ago.

  2. Glad you are enjoying school.....and sharing so much of the culture there!

  3. So glad you're enjoying it! I'll never get there, but it's fun see and hear about it in your Blog.

  4. Me too with the fun way to learn. I don't like all that book learning business... it makes more sense to learn about stuff that interests people and the words should come easier.

    When I went to Mexcico, I bought a Spanish learning dictionary ... hah... too many dialects and when someone would say something ... I say mas despacio por favor ... and even that phrase ~ speak slower please ... has a bunch of ways to say that! .... well? by the time I got a word and it's spelling to look up what they were trying to tell me.. lol.... I mean... I threw the thing away...

    I learned to communicate using my hands and expressions and I did learn enough words and phrases to 'get by'. Hands on just makes more sense ... course... I never learned more than words. sigh

    Having a fun teacher is where it's at! whether we're old or young, I think so.

  5. I'm so pleased we get to tag along and look over your shoulder.

  6. I think it is great that you are rotating through several teachers. I imagine that each has their own style and that should keep you on your toes!!

    I'm pretty sure that I'd tip one of those sculls right on over...


  7. A comment on the boats: I used to row shells (or as some folks say, sculls), but unless I'm seeing it wrong the boats in your photo are not being propelled by oars/rowing, but are instead being paddled with double-bladed kayak type paddles.

    So I think they look like kayaks.

    1. PS: Sorry, forgot to add, so the boats are being paddled forward, as is typical for paddling. With rowing, you are typically facing the stern, so going "backward" (compared to the rower).